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Figure of the God Thoth

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, 19th Dynasty to Roman Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor

This object is seen in temple reliefs in which the king offers it to goddesses like Hathor, Sakhmet, Mut, or Bastet who are called the Eye of Re. As the Eye of Re, each of these deities symbolized a number of ideas, including the destructive power of the sun god. In return for this offering, the king was assured of protection and the power needed to maintain cosmic order, or Ma'at. He also received the gift of a uraeus for his crown, a symbol of the same forces embodied in the Eye of Re. The cycle of giving, receiving, and giving in return ritually affirmed that the king's possession of royal power was confirmed and renewed.

MEDIUM Faience, glazed
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES ca. 664-30 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY XXVI Dynasty (or later)
    PERIOD Late Period to Ptolemaic Period
    DIMENSIONS 4 1/16 x 2 1/4 x 1 11/16 in. (10.3 x 5.7 x 4.3 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Figure of the God Thoth, ca. 664-30 B.C.E. Faience, glazed, 4 1/16 x 2 1/4 x 1 11/16 in. (10.3 x 5.7 x 4.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 36.838. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE installation, West Wing gallery 8 installation, CUR.36.838_wwg8.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
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